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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  July 28, 2010 12:00am-1:00am EDT

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that does it for us tonight. i'm chris hayes in for rachel. read my work at the or follow me on twitter, chris l. hayes. happy anniversary, mom and dad. you guys are really an inspiration. hardball starts now. scaring white people. let's play "hardball. good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, race and politics again. fox news and its friends have been whipping up hysteria over allegations that the members of the black panther party intimidated voters in ç philadelphia two years ago. the justice department found insufficient evidence to investigate but all seven senate republicans on the judiciary committee want the justice department, it's itself, investigated. is this yet another example of a rightest strategy to stir up racial resentment by whites by
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portraying them as victims as black rule? the release of the afghanistan papers, has it reignited the debate? is pakistan our ally or friend? should we -- or enemy? should we still be fighting in afghanistan? plus you knew there would be republican blow back when tom tancredo announced a third-party run out in colorado. it happened last night. wait until you hear the tape of him going after the state's republican chairman. also, what would make someone's own daughter take out an ad to say, he's not a good father and please don't vote for him? that family feud in the "sideshow." "let me finish" tonight on thoughts with a profile on patriotism. margie margolies, a congresswoman who voted for her country. les start with all seven republican members of the senate judiciary committee who sent a letter to democratic committee chairman patrick leahy of vermont pushing for a hearing on a 2008 election day incident? philadelphia involving two members of the new black panthers and whether they violated any voter intimidation laws. in their letter the republican senators write about their concern about the politicization
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of the civil rights division within the department of justice. what's this latest push about? michael smerconish is a radio host and msnbc analyst. e. stephen collins is a philadelphia radio host. michael, you've written about this, then e. stephen. jump in here. i want to try to get a very good presentation of what happened two years ago as best we can understand it. give us the sense of the neighborhood involved, the voting division involved, what happened, michael, on this day when we all voted or most of philadelphia and certainly that division voted for barack obama for president? >> it's the 14th ward. it's the fourth division. it's a public housing development and as i wrote there's a division where there didn't need to be any voter intimidation in support of barack obama of any kind. in 2004, you're talking john kerry, 501 votes and george w. bush 24. so it was a foregone conclusion because of the minorityç
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composition of that voting locale that obama was going to clean house. i've always said this was a case about tv and not about turnout. these are a couple of knuckleheads. they are well known to anybody who walks adjacent to city hall in philadelphia. they are always looking to create a spectacle. so, therefore, i think that their mission was accomplished. they are on "hardball" yet again tonight. having said that, having said that, i still think you need an investigation because you've got a department of justice lawyer, now former department of justice lawyer, who is saying under oath that there was some blow back because there was political appointees in justice who didn't want this case prosecuted. >> in other words, we're talking about a classic civil rights case where the civil rights of the voters of this case were violated allegedly by a group -- by the fact that the group did not investigate. in other words, the justice department itself you say has to be investigated. that's what you're saying right now, michael. the justice department of eric holder has to be investigated. >> i am saying that where you have a department of justice lawyer who under oath is saying my colleagues would not pursue
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this because they didn't want a colorblind application of the law, you've got to go to the next step. >> okay. who would do the investigation? >> well, in this case i think that the criminal prosecution should have been permitted to continue. >> no, no. who investigates the investigators? >> there should have been a trial in this case. >> what do you want now, michael? >> what i'd like now is a continuation of the criminal process, in this particular case, that was forestalled by justice because frankly, i think it's a worse reflection of the administration if it comes to a close now. instead of running to its end. >> okay. >> chris, this was a one-off case. i'm not looking to whip anybody into a hysteria. these were two guys in one polling place. >> let me go to e. stephen on this. you know the story better than i do. it's a philly story. it's got a lot of swirl. the right wing is loving it because it's white/black. your thoughts. >> the only people who are concerned about it are people that watch fox tv. i mean, african-americans, first of all, were not intimidated by a couple of guys, one who
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wore some jack boots, another guy with a bat. i mean -- >> looking at them right now. >> i've seen worst things happen on election day, first of all in, philadelphia. second, this is inner city philadelphia where nobody was -- people waited in lines to vote, and it doesn't work. if they were attempting to intimidate someone. that's number one. >> okay. >> number two, there was an investigation, michael, and they concluded there was no evidence so there was no criminal behavior. there was no criminal conduct. ç >> okay. >> so what are we talking about? >> i don't care about milton street 20 years ago, out in front of the gallery telling the white people to go back to the suburbs. we're all used to that crap. i'm worried about whether the republican precinct workers, division workers, were they intimidated by these guys? was there any intimidation by poll watchers, any illegality here? >> if there was -- >> you say none. >> -- illegality, it wasn't just a matter of the federal government. you had the philadelphia police and the district attorney's office in philadelphia and they looked at it and nothing came of it. >> and they let that guy stand
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there with the nightclub looking like a policeman. >> was that -- did it stop anybody from voting? >> i'm asking. no. but did it intimidate the republican precinct worker? the division worker there? if there was one? >> did he file a complaint? i didn't see a complaint. >> i'm not a lawyer. i'm asking these questions, because a lot of people are wondering. >> and i'm suggesting to you that this is small potatoes as a columnist has written about. >> okay. when i saw the two guys there i would not think it's small potatoes. abigail, the republican vice chair of the u.s. commission on civil rights. here's what she wrote for "the national review." forget about the new black panther case. it's small potatoes. perhaps the panthers should have been prosecuted under section 11 b of the voting rights act for their actions on november 2008. the heat matters that should be met, the charge are very high. in the 45 years since the act was passed there have been a total of three successful prosecutions. so, okay. let's go back to michael on this. you say there ought to be an investigation. you don't think this is just right wing swirl.
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this is just an attempt by the people on the right, especially fox, to just keep pushing this -- this beach ball in the air until it finally creates some noise. >> there's a lot of swirl associated with this case. i will grant you that. i remember very well on election day when there were individuals who were trying to spin this as indicative of what was going on across the city or indeed across the country, and it's all very clear now. it was a one-off incident. my position is there's no such thing as small potatoes. one instance is enough that needs to be prosecuted. and wait a minute, chris. how about this. what if there were a white hood and a sheet involved and someone -- and otherwise the facts were the same. would there then be a prosecution of the klan? there should be in this case. >> let me go to e. steven. i think there's a challenge here to the administration of barack obama that may well be ethnic. president of the united states, first african-american and eric holder is the first african-american, i guess,
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attorney general, actually. i hadn't thought about that, but i guess it's the case. we're trying not to think about these things all the time. there are some people that like -- would like us to be thinking about race all the time. >> yes. >> is that's what's going on here? >> it appears. that's what we saw in the sherrod case. it was such an over examination of everything that happened and every decision that was made. somebody edited a tape. it was a bad decision to fire her, to force her resignation. they retreated her and offered a better job and they learned something. people make mistakes, chris. you can't just crucify the president and his -- and his staff for making a decision. the bigger issue here is the republicans, the right wing, continue to attack and attack and attack, and this is small potatoes. >> okay. let's go back to michael. michael, i appreciate your thinking because you do try to come down the middle here and i wonder if there's a middle. here's my question. could this be, since it's two
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years later and on the eve of the big elections coming up this november, and they know a lot of older voters are going to run the election. because they are the ones that show up in the midterm elections. you know darn well who the target could be of the campaign, people who vote in the midterm elections. older white people because minority and kids don't tend to vote as heavily around the country in mid-term elections. is this aimed at sestak and democratic candidates in the burbs and rural areas to scare them of big city politics, to say the democrat party is of big city plax? is that what's going on here? you may be right about the facts but could this be -- >> you might be thinking three levels beyond where my head is on this issue. >> oh, come on. >> because i will grant you this. >> you talk about this -- philadelphia talks race. i know we know the issue. we try to get past. we have a great black mayor. whites voted for him heavily. the city tries to get past its old problems. i know about that. is this an attempt to rip the scab off? >> i don't know what the motivation might be of those senators. call me naive. i hope it's not what you are insinuating.
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but i'll say this -- >> i'm asking. >> the more this footage is shown, the more it benefits a turnout campaign for the(txpe of voter you have described and, therefore, my advice to the justice department, to the obama administration, would have been politically speaking prosecute these guys. the best thing you can do politically is lock them up. >> okay, right. i agree. >> you're -- >> e. steven, there's nothing the republican party likes better than a nice, scared white voter. let's be honest about it. >> you're implying that there was a crime that was committed, and i'm not sure that the justice department -- >> let me ask you about the white sheets. suppose those were white folks with white sheets. >> sure, then you have a legitimate case. that's intimidation. i agree. >> where's the symmetry, two black guys, big guys, wearing big boot, looks like uniforms to me and one guy is carrying a dangerous stick there that could break some hits with. that wouldn't intimidate you if you have to walk past them?
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just think about the symmetry your argument is -- >> chris, honestly. wouldn't you need to have someone making a complaint and someone saying we were in fact intimidated. we were not allowed. there was undue pressure put on us. no one said that. >> i looked at the voting numbers. i looked at the voting numbers. eight votes in that division for the republican candidate, george w. bush in 24. you had about 24 votes for him again the second time in 2004. this time you had something like 13 for the republican, about the average of the last two times, so it didn't look like there was any bottom -- michael, go back to you. no bottom-line repression here. no bottom line repression. the voting totals came in what you would expect given the nature of the election in 2008. what evidence do we have bottom line of voter intimidation or suppression? >> we don't have anybody that i'm aware of. we don't have anybody that i'm aware of that stands up and says, you know, but for the presence of these two knuckle heads i would have gone in and pulled the lever, but as a lawyer i would say the way in
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which they appear and their mannerisms and the billy club is a prima facie on its face case of voter intimidation and if they were there wrapped in sheets and hoods it would be a prima facie case on the part of the klan. >> i want to thank you both. gentlemen, i hope we don't have to revisit this. i hope something gets done. maybe it shouldn't get done, but i hope we don't have to talk about this again. thank you, michael smerconish and e. steven collins. it was a fair debate. up next, is president obama committed to a war strategy in afghanistan that won't work, and is pakistan really our ally or do we have a problem over there? that's next. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] he's sweet, even with 1/3 less sugar than soda. kool-aid delivering more smiles per gallon. oh! just come snuggle with mama. [ male announcer ] missing something? like 2 pairs of glasses fo$99.99 at sears optical, with bifocal lenses for just $25 more per pair. hurry in to sears optical today and don miss a thing.
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new york democratic congressman charlie rangel is making a last-minute effort to settle his ethics case and prevent a house ethics trial that could embarrass the democratic party. the house ethics committee chairman democrat zoe loftin of california says secret talks are going on right now between rangel's attorney and the
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the leaking of the afghanistan papers the other day has refocused attention on the war strategy of our country and whether pakistan is truly our friend in this fight or, in fact, underneath the surface, our foe. peter galbraith is now at the center for arms control and nonproliferation. mr. ambassador, thank you for joining us. should we trust the country of pakistan in its innermost power zones? are they on our side or against us? >> well, we should trust the government of pakistan. the elected civilian government headed by the president because he is very committed to the war on terror. his wife was killed by the same terrorists that we are battling. but as pakistani leaders often say, or the democratically
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elected ones, they can be in office, but not in power. power is held by the army. in the case of afghanistan, by the inner services intelligence. pakistan's super powerful spy agency. these are the peoále who created the taliban in the 1990s. without whose help the taliban would not have taken power. they -- president pervez musharraf, the military dictator, told president bush that he had broken ties with the taliban, but the isi continued them. the taliban leaders are in pakistan. so at least from that agency or parts of that agency there's definitely double dealing and deception. >> one of the central arguments for our continued war in afghanistan or the american war in afghanistan is that we cannot let the government such as it is fall because then the government of pakistan would be threatened, in jeopardy, and it has nuclear weapons. how do we get out of this conundrum, that we're defending one government in order to defend another government when
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the other government is infested with spies who don't support or position on any of this? >> well, it is a phony argument. pakistan is an incredibly important player in afghanistan. as i said, the taliban are the -- as i said, the pakistani isi are the people who helped create the taliban. the taliban leaders operate out of pakistan. but afghanistan is not a big player in pakistan. which is a country that is five times the size of pakistan. the ethnic composition is very different, and the pun jobbies, largest group in pakistan, 60% of the country, are not going to led pashtun radicals grab those nuclear weapons. this is a phony argument. that said the parts of the government are islamic. these are the people the reagan administration supported in the
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1980s through the dictator general. they have helped transform pakistan. the pakistani islamists who operate within the government, they control or have access to those nuclear weapons, and they are the people who spread nuclear technology to libya, to north korea, to iran, and to other countries that have not been mentioned yet. >> okay, we're over there -- our soldiers are fighting with their live, some of them losing those lives in this month of blood over there to defend a government of karzai. karzai has been accused of being corrupt. he's been accused of having not won this election, having stolen it and being a drug user. is he guilty of all three? >> he's certainly guilty of being corrupt.ç he's guilty of being ineffect e ineffective, and he did steal the last election, so he is illegitimate. >> is he a drug user? >> there are credible reports that he uses hashish which is
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quite commonly used by people from his part of the country, and that may explain some of his very weird behavior, but i want to emphasize we cannot prove that. but what we do know is absolutely he stole the last election. he himself has admitted that. this is the problem we have in afghanistan. we are engaged in a counterinsurgency strategy. general petraeus, the general in charge and everybody else in the u.s. military and foreign policy establishment will tell you that in order for a counterinsurgency strategy to work, we have to have a credible local partner. and speaking privately, they will also all tell you that a corrupt and effective and illegitimate hamid karzai government is not such a partner. >> i want to put you in two positions professionally. you've been in a high position. if you were an american soldier right now and our volunteer army in an officer's capacity with decisions to make every day about the lives of your troops, would you stay in the military and fight the war? do you believe it's a war we
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should be fighting? do you believe in this war, fighting the insurgency, or would you be saying, dammit, these insurgents are terrible people, but this government is terrible, too, we shouldn't be in this war? >> the fundamental problem is that we cannot accomplish the mission. we've committed 100,000 troops, $100 million to a strategy that cannot work by the terms of its own authors. >> what should a soldier fighting now do over there? what would you do if you were a soldier? >> i think we need to change the mission. we need to focus on what it is we can achieve. because we don't have a credible afghan partner and there are three things. i'll be very quick. first, half the country it not pashtun and the taliban is entirely a pashtun movement. we can protect the north, the non-pashtun areas. we can protect kabul, which, again, is mostly a
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non-pashtun city which is relatively stable and, third, wç can strike at terrorists where we get good intelligence which isn't actually all that often. to accomplish those missions which are achievable we would need 10,000 to 15,000 troops. remember, when we commit 100,000 troops, chris, to afghanistan, that means those military resources are not available to deal with other national security challenges. al qaeda is much more of a threat in pakistan, somalia, yemen and then, of course, there's the iranian and north korean nuclear programs. >> okay. if you had to vote right now as a member of congress, aye or nay on continuing funding with this war on its current mission would you vote aye? >> would i vote no because the mission cannot be achieved, and i think it is a waste of resources to put people -- a mission that can't be achieved and frankly it's immoral to send young men and women on a mission that cannot succeed. >> well said. i get your position. let's bring in andrea mitchell, chief foreign affairs correspondent for nbc news. the administration is being confronted with a lot of
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evidence now, some supporting the challenges mentioned by ambassador galbraith there that the isi, the spy agency of the pakistan government is not really our friend, and then secondly, we've got a corrupt government over there in kabul. my question is does it surprise this administration what they are reading in these documents, or do they always know all of this? >> they knew all of this. they have spoken out in fact very strongly about all of this, even last week in pakistan when i was covering hillary clinton. she spoke out again about all of this, both very strongly to the officials, to the head of the pakistani spy agency and the top military leaders there and publicly to the pakistani public. the problem is that -- what the administration would say is we've been speaking to this. there has been improvement, and there has been improvement in the last few months, month by month, in fact, they say there has been improvement and these documents which ended in december of 2009 do not acknowledge that. that said, they are aware of these problems, and they have not really addressed the problem
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again with karzai, but they are certainly well aware of them and aware of the problems that ambassador galbraith brought to them when he was still in government. >> these are deadly serious issues. when you have the fact that we're defending against the insurgency over there of a government that's corrupt, unelected and led by a drug uniform to say i'm out fighting the bad guys. he has to assume the good guys are on the other side or not. is that the problem this president faces in sending more people to fight the war? >> absolutely. >> sending more people to fight the war on behalf of karzai when we have an ally we're supposedly defending pakistan who may not be deep down loyal to us. >> what the president said today is he took all of this into consideration when he changed the policy and most recently brought general petraeus in to continue the new policy that had been articulated and led by general mcchrystal. so their argument is they knew that karzai was a bad actor and
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that he's not been able to extend his reach beyond kabul really. having just been there last week, i can tell you that it is limited to kabul. that is the reach of hamid karzai, but the whole point of what they are doing leading up to the review in december and of course to the beginning of the withdrawal they hope next july is to change that game. i think what they are going to end up doing though is acknowledging that it is regional and provincial in nature and that there never will be a national government or a state the way we would define a national government. >> is that edging toward a biden strategy of counterterrorism? >> yes. yes. >> let me go back to ambassador galbraith. you've advocated a policy of limited turf protection, taking kabul and the north and other areas that are not pashtun and limiting the rest of the operations in the country i assume to anti-terrorism? >> yes, that's right. the whole premise of the new strategy is that you need a partner which we do not have. i want to come back to something that andrea said about pakistan because it is a very important point.
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the administration's policy in pakistan has made progress, and in many ways they are dealing with the problems that were left by president bush. president bush could have been tough on genal pervez musharraf, the military dictator who did control the isi, but he wasn't. he basically let the isi lie to us and musharraf lie to us. obama is working with a civilian government that really doesn't control the isi but which is very much on his side. he has followed a strategy of supporting that civilian government, building it up economically, and that has produced results. the isi has turned over some of the taliban leaders. cooperation is greater but still playing a double game. >> we have to go. thank you so much, andrea mitchell, for joining us, our chief foreign affairs correspondent and thank you former ambassador peter galbraith. cominguá next, is it a bit undignified for president obama to appear on "the view?"
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one prominent politician and good friend of this show thinks the president should not show up on "the view." well, we're going to get that hot one. ♪
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back to "hardball." time for the "sideshow." first tonight, governor ed rendell offers a verdict on "the view." the pennsylvania governor doesn't think president obama should show up on "the view" this thursday. here he is on "morning joe" today. >> i think there has to be a little bit of dignity to the presidency, and you wouldn't go on -- >> what are you saying, ed? >> what a horrible insult to "the view." >> ed rendell, what are you saying? >> well, i think there's some shows. i wouldn't put him on jerry springer either, right? i think the president of the
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united states has to go on serious shows, and "the view" i think -- you can make a case that "the view" is a serious show. >> sure. >> but it also rocks and rolls a little bit and i'm not so sure he has to go on "the view" to be open to questions. >> wow. i think he should do "hardball." m. president, consider yourself invited. next, judicial candidate john mantooth is getting attacks on his character from a very close source, his own daughter.ç this quarter-page ad in a local paper, do not vote for my dad, was paid for by his daughter and son-in-law. the ad says he is not a good father and would not be a good judge. adding insult to injury, they have a website the couple created he says his daughter's political attacks have been influenced by a rival and this is certainly understandable. the bad feelings stem from his divorce from his mother. that's what he says.
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the dad says. for tonight's "big number." gallup came out with its survey of the major political numbers nationally. who comes out with the highest favorability? no surprise. michelle obama with 66%. tied for second place, bill and hillary clinton at 61% followed by general petraeus in fourth and president obama in fifth place at 52%. the first lady outshines the whole field. 66% for michelle. tonight's "big number." up next, rocky times for the gop in colorado. tom tancredo's decision to run for governor out there leads to a talk radio screaming match. ♪
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hello, everyone, i'm lynn berry. here's what's happening. congress approved $37 billion in
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funding for president obama's troop surge in afghanistan. it includes $4 billion for foreign aid. republicans in the senate blocked legislation that would have forced special interest groups to disclose sources of funding for political ads. a senate canceled a hearing on the release of the lockerbie bomber after being, quote, stonewalled by bp and the scottish and british governments. the city of new york settled with the family of sean bell, killed by police four years ago for three and a quarter million dollars. 30 homes have been destroyed by wildfires sweeping along the border of california. consumer confidence fell last month on growing frustration about the stagnant jobs market. gm revealed the price tag on its electric volt. sticker prices start around $41,000. now back to "hardball."
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welcome back to "hardball." colorado is full of fights for the midterm elections. the latest clash in the governor's race where former republican congressman tom tancredo plans to run as a third-party candidate. here he is fighting on the radio with state republican chairman dick wadhams, by the way, on the "peter boyles show" monday. let's listen. >> okay. >> we've had a number of discussions about the problems we had because you hate the people on the ballot. you dislike them both. you don't trust either one. >> you've told me on more than one occasion your opinion of scott mccinnis, let me think of the exact term, untrustworthy. your opinion of dan mays, a joke. those were your words. >> you said the same thing to me on more than one occasion privately that tom's saying you said. i'm not lying to you. you said that. >> i have been very open these two guys have problems.
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>> okay. sounds like one guy is talking out of school. it's getting rocky in the rockies. i'll be joined by democratic senate candidate andrew romanoff. let's go to "washington post's" chris cillizza managing editor of the you're becoming very tv ready. you look really good for television these days. you're looking good. let me ask you this question. what is going on out there? tom tancredo is going in as an anti-immigration guy and trashing the republican  quoting back to the party chairman negative things he told him apparently in private. >> there's nothing better than publicly airing things said in private. it's a reporter's dream. the broader context here, scott mcinnis, presumed front-runner in the august 10th primary, has been involved and embroiled in a plagiarism scandal. he plagiarized an essay for water issues for which he was paid $300,000. i need a gig like that at some point.
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dan maes, the other candidate in the primary, has a finance problem. what colorado republicans are left with headed into this primary which is in a week is two really, really flawed candidates. i think tom tancredo has wanted to get back into the political mix for a while. remember, he ran for president in 2008. immigration kind of the issue he wants to bring to the forefront. i think he's using the problems of mccinnis and maes to put himself in the back. >> simple question. why don't he just run in the primary? he's a republican. >> filing deadline passed by a long shot. i'm surprised he didn't run before. i thought he might have filed and ran for this. >> he looks pretty hot with that immigration issue. >> put himself in the mix. don't forget, too, immigration in a republican primary, we've seen what it's done. look at jan brewer, the governor of arizona, wasn't even close to winning that primary before she signed the immigration law in that state and now she's the overwhelming favorite so had he gotten in back then, he might well have wound up as the republican nominee. >> immigration is a huge voting
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issue this year especially in the southwest, but all across the country. let ming a you about andrew romanoff, one of the top two candidates for the senate nomination in colorado. the other day he sold his house, didn't mortgage it, sold the house he lives in for cash to contribute to his campaign. that's putting your money where your mouth is. your thoughts on a guy doing this kind of thing? >> i have two thoughts. one, you won't be able to question his dedication at this point. the one that reminded me of, chris, you'll remember this, ron klink, former weatherman from western pennsylvania running against rick santorum back in 2000. $300,000 mortgage on his home after that race looked like he lost. andrew romanoff is hoping he's not following in ron klink's footsteps. look, it's a big investment. i think the race is somewhat close. i do think -- michael bennett, the appointed senator in the state, has something of an advantage. he has significant financial advantage, but in a small turnout primary romanoff, the former speaker of the
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statehouse, he's got strong showing among the grassroots. it's not unfathomable inç an environment like this that he wins. >> good reporting, chris cillizza with the "washington post." with me now, democratic senate candidate andrew romanoff. he faces michael bennett in august. why would you have a primary in august? which clown decision was that when people are on vacation? they're not really thinking politics? is this an attempt to keep votes down? is this a republican thing or what? >> it does have that effect, chris. probably couldn't pick a worst time to ask people to participate in this process. the good news is a lot of coloradoans are voting by mail. our law allows counties to conduct the primary by mail and it allows to pick a party and participate in the primary and shed their affiliation the next day. >> sold your house for $300,000. that's like burning the ships when people used to arrive in this country from europe to make sure they are definitely going to stay. is that what you're doing? a dramatic statement to your people i'm in this to win? >> well, it's expensive to advertise on television, as you
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know and i'm running against a guy who's taken more than a million dollars from special interest groups -- >> who doesn't? >> i'm committed to this cause. >> doesn't everybody do that? >> by the way, what are the special interests? let's nail it. >> drug companies, big wall street banks, oil industries. my opponent is top ten recipient among those groups. >> and you're clean in all those departments, not taken a nickel from any of those crowds? >> i the only candidate in the date, one of the few in america who doesn't take a dime of special interest money. >> you don't take a dime from the executives of any of those companies, period? you don't do the trick of not -- >> we decided not to take a single dime from any political action committee. they have enough politicians on their payroll. >> do you take it the other way when you go around and done the executives of the companies and they get paid back later so they don't go through the pac money? you don't do that either? >> 95% of our donors live in colorado. >> so, in other words, you're not taking any money from the insurance company, medical officials, hospital officials, nobody works in those industries is giving to your campaign? >> you know --
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>> just to give you -- >> we don't take any contributions from political action committees. >> you're repeating yourself which is what people do when they don't want to say something. are you taking money from those people who work in those fields but getting it directly rather than through a pac? yes or no.ç >> i understand your question. look -- >> why don't you want to answer it? >> i assume a lot of folks we're taking money work in lots of fields. you have to raise money somehow. and if you say we're not going to take money from anybody who works for any industry i don't know where the money would come from. how would you fund a campaign? >> a lot of people to keep themselves appearing clean take money from the industries and the special interests but don't do it through the political action committees. they go around and take the money directly from the people working them and those people get compensated later. that's how the game works. >> that's a fair question. we talked about that. what kind of line can we draw? should we say we're not going to take any money from the groups themselves? that's the line we drew. should we say we're not going to take it from anybody who works for any field? we couldn't figure out how to fund the campaign if we turned
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down money from anybody who has a job. unemployed people have also contributed to our campaign. >> i recognize your courage in selling your house, by the way. was that a hard decision to see your house go up on tv commercials? i mean, you're watching your house disappear in tv commercials. by the way, are you still a resident of the state once you sell your house? are you a resident once you no longer own the house? >> i -- i am a resident of the state and i'm still living in my house for the time being. my dog does, too. >> okay. in other words, having sold your house, you still reside that. >> i may be in the doghouse by the end of the interview. >> you're still eligible to run. it's just a funny question i thought. i never thought of a guy selling a house he's using as a resident to run in a election. you sell your basis of your candidacy in a way, don't you? >> it shows you how crazy the system has become. look, two-thirds of the members of the u.s. senate are multimillionaires. i'm not. 99% of the people are not. >> no, you're homeless. you're homeless, buddy.
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>> not quite. not yet. >> good luck in your campaign. what's the biggest issue between you and bennett, the real issue, the issue that matters to voters, that separates you two guys? >> well, as i said at the outset, the only candidate who isn't funded by special interest groups. we need a senator for the rest of us and when it comes to protecting the profits of big banks or the tax breaks for oil companies my opponent has said yes. i'll say no. >> he's in the tank with the special interests and you're not? >> well, i want to be clear. he is one of the top ten recipients of wall street cash and one of the biggest recipients of big oil money and has voted along those lines. >> so he's in the tank. >> i can't trace every decision he makes to every dollar. >> you're saying if he gets ç elected he's going to be driven by the people who paid for his campaign? he's going to be directed by -- >> all i can tell you is how he's voted and where he's taken his money. >> does that corrupt him? >> all i can tell you is how he's voting and where he's taking his money. these groups wouldn't spend millions of dollars on
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congressional campaigns if they got nothing from anybody in return. >> andrew romanoff who sold his house and still lives in the state and is hanging in that house until they come to take it away from him. thanks for coming on. you've got good heart. nothing goes on as planned when it comes to rod blagojevich, including the closing arguments. he did not defend himself in court. he had the lawyer offer a rhetorical defense against the state's case which is pretty heavy. host: could switching to o really save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance? host: was abe lincoln honest? mary todd: does this dress make my backside look big? abe: perhaps a... vo: geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
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there's a firestorm over religion down in tennessee. lieutenant governor ron ramsey, who is also running for governor down there, suggested at a town hall this month that islam is a cult, not a religion. it started with an attendee's question about the, quote, threat that's invading our country from the muslims. that was the questioner. here's ramsey's response. let's listen. >> trying to learn about sharia law. try to learn -- it is not good, if that's what's going on. now, you can even argue whether muslim is actually a religion or is it a nationality way of life
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or cult, whatever you want to call it? we need to protect our religions, but at the same time this is something that we are going to have to face. >> wow. we'll be right back. that's trouble. let's go. come on. hurry up. [ laughter ] [ slamming ] [ engines revving ]
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and stay rewarded with the hit it big promotion-- earn up to five hundred dollars at over three hundred retailers. back to "hardball." the prosecution and the defense both made closing arguments today in former governor rod blagojevich's corruption trial. joining us now with more of what happened is "chicago sun-times" lynn sweet also with
12:51 am and msnbc contributor jim warren who was in the courtroom today. lynn, you first, then jim. i want you to give me your summations how that trial ended today. >> it ended as it started. the defense said no crime ever happened. the defense said that blagojevich is not the sharpest knife in the drawer but he's not corrupt. and the prosecution said, hey, the man is smart, been elected governor twice, and the man has excuses for everything. convict him. >> jim warren, is this a dumb defense? how do you see it? >> well, i think if you're in the courtroom you would have thought that the blagojevich defense ended absolutely disastrously with a very flamboyant, theatrical, very confident chief defense attorney unable to give the defense the summation he wanted to because of some evidentiary rulings by the judge so he really did it with one hand tied behind his back and i think correctly so given the rulings and had to portray his client as kind of an indiscreet, big-mouth guy led
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astray by aides and unfortunately the day and a half essentially of a government closing really, i think, on the law, totally rebutted that as they showed this clear, absolute chronology, this quest to retain and obtain power and reward loyalists and, remember, they do not have to show a quid pro quo but showed clear intent. >> let me ask you this, lynn. when everybody watched this nationally, let's assume he gets convicted. will that teach the country that you can't sit around with your staff and plot ways to steal money? >> maybe, maybe not, chris. it should only be so easy. you know, people have plotted corrupt places, you know, they might be investigating, might be wires, look at the congressional investigations. they are always ongoing. >> but when the guy goes in the can it does have a certain message to people. >> it says you don't have to pull off the crimes as jim said in order to do something wrong. in order to do sou thing wrong. describe it, will there be an appeal here if he gets convicted? will there be an appeal? >> oh, yeah. >> oh, yeah, absolutely. a lot will be based on what he
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was unable to do in his closing argument. will there be a big message sent to american politicians? i don't think so other than just assume you're being wiretapped because if every american politician was wiretapped the way this guy was i think we'd have to quadruple the budget of the justice department to handle all the prosecutions. >> what are you, mr. chicago? are you, like, saying don't hold it against chicago the way we do business because everybody does it? >> right. >> you are defending your city? >> and add e-mails to what you should be careful with. >> is that a chicago point of view, they all do it? >> i think it's a -- >> no, it's not a chicago point of view but, chris -- >> i understand what you're talking about. you're saying pay to play is a normal political phenomena in this country. play to pay. >> the union guy, the service employees international union gives him about $2 million over a course of the years. is one surprised? they have total instant access any time they want it. is one surprised that the white house is using sciu as an intermediary as they try to push not so subtly valerie jarrett as senate replacement for barack
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obama? excess of money and power is everywhere. >> can't wait for the jury. thank you, guys. lynn sweet, thank you, jim warren. i want to hear what the jury of chicagoans thinks. when we return, i have thoughts on margie mar goalies, the key vote in the clinton economic plan that made all the difference. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] he's sweet, even with 1/3 less sugar than soda.
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"let me finish" tonight with a story about a congresswoman who made a difference.
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marjorie margolies was the key vote in 1993 for the clinton economic plan that created millions of jobs, more than balanced the federal budget, gave our country a government surplus and began shrinking the national debt. margolies cast the decisive vote, 218, to decide whether the new president and congress could prove to the federal reserve board and country's money managers that the government could be trusted to get the country's fiscal house in order and keep it that way. for congresswoman margolies it was a brutal vote personally with republicans chanting, good-bye marjorie, she put her house i.d. card into that slot and cast her vote aye. quote, i was pressed by all sides, by my constituents, my president needing a victory and republicans promising my demise. i was in the country's most republican district represented by a democrat. i voted my conscience and it cost me. she was defeated in the next election by a candidate whose most discernible quality was he was not marjory margolies. in one of the wealthiest
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counties in the country, montgomery county, pennsylvania, it was not a heavy lift to beat a member of congress that voted for a budget that while holding the line on spending also included tax hikes. the great thing margolies did was cast the vote that made possible though she couldn't have known it at the time a chain reaction of very good things. the budget got balanced. indeed went into surplus. and the economy of the 1990s roared and yes the rich got richer. marjorie did suffer the voters' boot. she said not long ago i'll do it again, i'd do it again, but the important thing is her realization even at the time of that difficult vote that as humphrey bogart put it, the problems of a few little people don't amount to a hill of beans compared to the dangers facing this country. it's now 17 years later and this saturday marjorie's son marc will marry chelsea clinton. i'm sure someone in that rehearsal dinner at the wedding will remember back to that vote on the house floor at the beginning of the clinton economic era and say, not good-bye, marjorie, but hello to what this country needs now again as much as ever the guts to vote, to cast votes you'll be proud of the rest of your life. anyway, isn't it nice once in aç


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